|A new member of the world-wide family of blue cheeses, Petaluma Blue is a creamy, rich cheese well marbled with blue-gray veins of pungent flavor. Yields three round cheeses of 6 to 8 ounces each.
Around the world, there are famous blue cheeses. The Roquefort of France is a sheep’s milk cheese. The Cabrales of Spain can be made from cow’s milk alone, or may have goat’s milk or sheep’s milk blended in. England’s Stilton is a cow’s milk cheese legally restricted to production in just three counties. Italian Gorgonzola, from cow’s milk and/or goat’s milk, is named for a small town near Milan. As early as AD 79, Pliny the Elder remarked upon the rich flavor of blue cheese.
All of these are pungent, spicy, white to light yellow cheeses containing blue, green, or gray veins from introduced mold cultures. The mold most commonly used for production of blue cheeses is Penicillium roqueforti and that is the culture we have chosen for our recipe as well. The veins are induced by piercing the cheeses with a knitting needle. The mold follows the channels created because it needs air to grow. Careful attention to aging conditions will produce a creamy and flavorful cheese with good melting qualities. Try a slice on a grilled steak, or make a blue cheese cream sauce for pasta!
Yields 3 6-8 ounce cheeses.
1 gallon whole cow’s milk (not ultrapasteurized)
1 cup (1/2 pint) heavy whipping cream (not ultrapasteurized)
1/16 tsp. Penicillium roqueforti culture powder
1/8 tsp. MA 4001 “Farmhouse” direct-set mesophilic culture
1/4 tsp. calcium chloride solution, dissolved in ¼ cup water
1/4 tsp. liquid rennet, dissolved in ¼ cup water
1 Tbsp. Kosher salt or flaked cheese salt (plus more for sprinkling)
6-10 quart pot in a water bath (double boiler)
Dial Top Thermometer (a second thermometer is helpful, for monitoring the water bath)
Stainless steel slotted spoon or perforated ladle
2 custard cups or small ramekins
Colander and a bowl it fits in
1/2 yard cheesecloth for cheese
2 cheeseboards, plastic or covered with plastic wrap
Forming and aging:
4 Soft cheese molds, perforated plastic about 3.9” dia. at the top x 3.6” dia. at the bottom x 3” high (the fourth mold is for turning the cheeses—the recipe makes 3)
Draining tray and mat #4 (3.5 mm)
Aluminum knitting needle
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